Street Scenes from Erlanger, Kentucky

Town Hall, Commonwealth &
Main, c. 1910,The Bentler

The Erlanger - Fort Mitchell
Bus J. W. Bentler, prop.

The Bentler Building “was originally built by Robert James Scott, a druggist who built the building in 1892. Scott manufactured two of his own products: Rose Glycerin Powder and Scott’s Headache Powders. He sold these nationwide and on the first floor was the drug store, the second floor included a stage and dressing rooms and served as the community meeting room and social center. The third floor contained two lodge rooms. The building was the most suitable place for meetings, dances and lectures and Chautauqua performances and became know as the 'Towne Hall'” - Patricia Hahn, commenting on Facebook


Erlanger Tollgate.
On Erlanger Road
Erlanger Tollgate.  Same
scene as at left.  Fritz Scheben
owned the house


Three more shots of the Bentler Building, one with lots of
pedestrians, and one with a jitney (bus).



Dixie Highway Scene
The building we remember as the Community Bank is on the left; underpass ahead.
from a Facebook posting by the Erlanger Historical Society


Dixie at McAlpin

Erlanger, c. WWI

Dixie Highway, Erlanger

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The first word in Erlanger history is Henry Childress' History of Erlanger, here.

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The Q & C Depot, Erlanger 
(The Queen and Crescent, later the Southern, later the Norfolk Southern.  It started out
as the C. N. O. & T. P - the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific.)


Baron Erlangernew

The man for whom Erlanger is named, Frédéric Émile, Baron d’Erlanger (June 19, 1832-May 22, 1911)

After the Civil War, Cincinnati merchants wanted urgently to be able to sell goods in the south, but could not match prices from Louisville merchants. Louisville simply had to put things on the L&N, and ship. Cincinnati merchants had to load cargo on a steamer, ship it to Louisville, unload it, and then load it on the L&N. Transportation costs gave Louisville a price break in the South. Long story short: Cincinnati built a railroad; the Southern. The law said the city couldn't buy stock in a railroad, but it didn't say they could own one. The political battle in Kentucky was fierce. The Courier-Journal didn't exactly feel sorry for Cincinnati. They editorialized “Grass will certainly not grow in the streets of Cincinnati in our day. The merchants of Cincinnati, the railroad men of Cincinnati, are a thoroughly live and ingenious set of Yankee plotters, who propose to swarm upon the Southern country like ducks upon June bugs.” But the Kentucky authorities eventually relented, and various lengths of the railroad, offering a variety of passenger and freight services opened from 1887 to 1880. In 1881, the city leased it's holdings to an English corporation controlled by German-born Parisian banker Frédéric Émile d'Erlanger (Wikipedia). The city of Erlanger is named for him. d'Erlanger's CNO&TP holdings eventually end up, in 1894, joining a number of railroads under the name Southern Railway. The City of Cincinnati still owns a 99-year lease on the Southern. Look for it to be in the news in 2026, when it expires.

Dr. Paul Tenkotte has written on d'Erlanger, at this site.


The Erlanger Depot, 1974 
The depot being moved. 
It's about 100 feet west of
its original location
Erlanger Depot,
September, 1911
(a Kentuckiana Virtual
Library image)
The C. N. O & T. P.

Current home of the Erlanger Depot Museum, and the Erlanger Historical Society


In the snow, before
 Dixie was paved

Erlanger Elsmere
Armed Services Roll

Commonwealth Avenue

Commonwealth Avenue,


Erlanger Fair Adnew

Who is this Erlanger Fair headliner, Lincoln Beachey? Read about him at this site. His biographers are almost all agree that there are so many wild antics that they know are factual, that it's very difficult to recognize the fictional ones. Beachey is the first man to fly an airplane straight down, around in a loop, upside down, and, yes, backwards. By 1915, one in every 5 Americans had seen him perform. In person. And one rumor says he had a lockbox full of cash and a fiancee with a diamond ring in every town he performed in. Ad is from the Boone County Recorder, July 29, 1914


Grandstand at
Erlanger Fairgrounds

Trotters Race at the
Erlanger Fair Grounds
Grandstand at the
Erlanger Fairgrounds
c. 1920

The grandstand you see here seated 4,000 people and was located  where the Lloyd High School Campus  is today. The first Erlanger Derby was run here in 1906.

newRead Pat Hahn's history of the track (pdf) at the Erlanger Historical Society's site.

A Kentucky Post preview of events at the 1910 Erlanger Fair, including “the inevitable Oriental dancers,” is here.

Here's the story of the 1914 fair, with biplanes. Here's the story on the fair opening in 1924
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Aerial View of Erlanger


Edgewood / Erlanger Aerial
That's Dixie Heights
in the top center


Kenton Co Public Library

Depending on how you count, this is either the first, second, or third public library in Erlanger-Elsmere. It's the first stand-alone building which had a library.  An earlier library was begun in the old Citizens Bank Building, which is the first library, according to a history of the libraries by Harry Riggs, which you can read here.  He read the history on the occasion of the dedication of the above building on May 19, 1957.  Evidently, everyone forgot there was an earlier library on Garvey, just off Dixie, as shown in this Sanborn Fire map c. 1940.  More on Sanborn maps below.


Looking East in 1911
This image is provided through the
courtesy of the Lloyd Library of Cincinnati

Erlanger Scenes after the
Tornado, July 7, 1915


Riggs Avenue



Russ Garnet Excavating, building the Erlanger Road
Thanks to Lucy Riffle for this picture and a description: “I found this old picture of my grandfather Morris Y. Thomas (in the plaid coat), Chetty Skidmore (3rd to his right standing up) and some other men when they built Erlanger Road. Behind them is where Super Bowl is now; Riggs Avenue, not yet built, now runs to the right down past the barns.”


Clicking on this image will take you to, where you can see an enlarged version of this picture by Jesse Cornelius, and a view of Erlanger you don't usually get to see.


Child Life in Erlanger Seining for Minnows in Dry
Creek on the Sunset Poultry
Farm, near Erlanger



The map on the left is from a Sanborn Fire Map of Erlanger from 1909, and the map on the right is excerpted from a Lake Atlas of 1883.  You can see more expansive versions of both.  Learn how here

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The City of Erlanger was first incorporated on January 25, 1897.
Their brochure, Lookin' Back, a detailed look, street by
 street, and house by house, of old Erlanger, is here (pdf)

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Plat for an 1879 sale of lots in Erlanger.  Note that north is toward the bottom right.
from the Covington Daily Commonwealth, April 4. 1879

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On September 19, 1888, at a barbecue in Erlanger, one of Kentucky's Senator,  Joseph C. S. Blackburn debated the Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives, then Covington's John J. Carlisle about tariff reform.  6,000 people showed up.

Or maybe 15,000 showed up.  Story here, and another here.

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“Miss Anna E. Cahill, of Erlanger, Ky., became deranged by the blowing of whistles while at Cincinnati and Covington, New Year's eve. She will be taken to the asylum.” Indianapolis News, January 24, 1898

Two murder stories from 1890's Erlanger, here.

The City of Erlanger was first
incorporated on January 25, 1897.

A 1926 history of the Erlanger Women's Club is here. Shoot-out in Erlanger, here.

The Erlanger Historical Society is here.

The official City of Erlanger site is here.

“In Silver Lake [Erlanger], on the Cincinnati Southern railroad and Lexington pike, there are two groceries, one dry goods store, a lumber yard and a coal yard.”from the Courier-Journal, December 18, 1880
Fire, in 1879, here. newFeud settled (?) in Erlanger in 1900.



“Cincinnati Furniture Exchange - The big outing of the Exchange took place on June 22.  This is the twentieth annual outing which members of the Exchange have had the pleasure to attend.  This year's big outing was at Cody's big farm in Erlanger, Ky., the place where all had such a grand time last year.  Promptly at 9 o'clock in the morning Kentucky burgoo was served, after which a round of mint juleps was presented to the members buy Colonel Cody, the host.  At 1 o'clock a big chicken dinner was served and during the afternoon there were roasting ears and a barbecue.  In the evening, a real old-fashioned Kentucky supper gave the members a chance to fill up - those who had any room left in which to put it.  There was a band and orchestra to make things merry during the day, and Goetz's entertainers were there to drive the blues away.”A 1918 issue of The Furniture Worker

You can read about other folks who had their annual soiree's at Colonel Cody's farm in Erlanger:

Cincinnati Jewelers Cincinnati Shoe and Leather Club Lumbermen's Club of Cincinnati

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I'm indebted to the Erlanger Historical Society for many of the pictures you see here.  Thanks, folks.

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